Book Conservation: Phase boxing
Many of the volumes in the Library and archive are in need of conservation work. They may have detached boards or loose pages. Unfortunately, rebinding is time consuming and expensive so as a temporary solution, volunteers are making protective boxes for the books from acid-free conservation grade cardboard.
There are usually some books which have been selected as needing boxes which would be ready for the next box-making volunteer. The card is stored up on the first floor in very large sheets. It is difficult to make phase boxes without standing for most of the time as you need to press hard on when folding and cutting.
Making phase boxes is a skilled task and volunteers will need to have an aptitude for this work. Specialist training will be provided to enable people to reach the necessary level of skill to work independently. However we find not everyone has the necessary competency to fulfil this role owing to the precision needed to meet the conservation standards. Preference would be given to people with craft skills. Training can most easily be provided on Tuesday and Thursday mornings but other times can be arranged.
Comfortable using a craft knife or scalpel.
Comfortable working mainly standing at a table.
Very accurate with measuring and cutting.
Able to work independently.
Flexible timing. No minimum time commitment. Most working on this project do one 3-hour session per week but it is variable. It would not be sensible to do very short shifts on this project as you would spend a great deal of your time setting up and clearing away.